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So last week I bit the bullet and purchased a Fujifilm X-Pro2. It was always a toss-up between that and the X-T2 but the ergonomics of the XP2 won me over in the end.

As I have said on this blog before, I am left eye dominant and wear glasses and as a result, I find some of the buttons and controls on the X-t1, which I own, difficult to reach and operate, without sticking stubby thumbs over glasses and smearing them.

I already have the X-E2, which is also a rangefinder format Fuji and I love it, so I was relatively comfortable in making the decision in favour of the XP2. Now that does not so say I don’t like the XT1 – I love it. It is a magnificent camera and the new XT2 even more so. I have had a go with the latter and it is a great upgrade to the former. But, I want to be able to use the joystick on the XP2 to move the focal point around, and I couldn’t reach it on the XT2 with my fat face held up against it. With the XP2 I can reach all the controls I need to.

After a couple of days of owning the XP2 and after setting up back button shooting, I did what I have done to my other two Fuji cameras, I added sugru to the AE-L button so I can feel it properly with my thumb with the camera held up to my eye.

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Sugru AE-L button

 

I also received a free leather half case with the camera, as a deal that Wex currently have on. I wasn’t sure that I would need a grip on the XP2, but if I did I thought that the case may alleviate the need for it. To a certain extent it did, but I just don’t like the case on the camera. So I looked at grips for the XP2 and obviously, there is the MHG-XPRO2 by Fujifilm at £99 but I thought I would look around to see what third party versions there are. I have a Fuji grip on my X-T1 which cost £99 and a third party grip on my X-E2 which cost £17 and which is excellent.

I trawled through various style and grips until I happened to spot this one made by Mcoplus available through Amazon, looking very similar to the Fuji grip and only costing £39. So I ordered it and it is excellent. It actually feels of the same quality as the official Fuji X-T1 grip and it fits the x-Pro2 perfectly.

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Mcoplus Grip

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Fuji Grip

 

I have also attached a soft release button to the X-Pro2. I started using these on my X-E2 and found that it really helped when hand-holding the camera at slow shutter speeds.

I can’t wait to get out and about with the X-Pro2, as soon as this appalling, freezing cold, grey, dismal and damp weather we are having in the UK breaks I shall be out there.

 

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Hoping to shake off some of the Christmas holiday period cobwebs Mrs M and I went on a morning visit to Charlecote Park. There had been a heavy frost the night before, the car was thoroughly iced up before we started and there was a thick, cold, fog laying low over the houses. The sun was trying to shine through but was being severely diffused by the pea-souper.

When we got to Charlecote, we found it too was laying beneath a thick fog and frost with the sun trying desperately and ineffectually to burn it off. The light that sifted through the fog though was glorious. Softened, it gave the trees and surrounding parkland an eerie, unearthly feel.

This image was taken with the Fuji X-T1 and 18-135, f/3.5 – 5.6 lens. I overexposed by a stop to ensure that I got the glow from the sun, and you can see that the sun itself, diffused by the fog, looks huge in the sky.

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This image was taken on a glorious November day in Exmouth, Devon. The temperature was unbelievably warm at 18 degrees. I was walking along the beach in a tee-shirt and I was still very warm.

Being November, the area did not have the summer quota of holiday-makers and the beach was virtually empty apart from a few people walking their dogs and enjoying the bizarre weather.

As you can see from the image the sun was quite low in the sky even though the time was eleven o’clock in the morning and it reflected gloriously off the sea. The clouds were fabulous and added extra depth to the scene. All I needed to get was a bit of foreground interest and that eventually came along in the form of two individuals walking towards me along the sea edge.

There were some buildings on the far left which unbalanced the composition and so I went for a square crop and excluded them. This left the scene centred on the two people on the beach. It was lucky that the people were easily discernible as male and female as this helped start a dialogue in my mind and the static appearance of the woman at the back and the walking attitude of the man gave me the title ‘Leaving’.

 

The photograph was taken on a Fujifilm X-T1 and an XF 18-135mm, f/3.5 – 5.6 LM OIS WR lens. ISO was 320 at 1/800sec and the aperture was set at f/18.0. I used this very small aperture despite the risks of diffraction as I wanted the sun to split into a start shape.

 

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A trip to Cosford RAF museum bought the opportunity not only to look at the fantastic collection of aircraft they have from the First World War to the Cold War but also to get some great close up and abstract images.

The image below is one I took of a safety ribbon which was attached to a Harrier jump jet. These ribbons are usually attached to pins on various part of weaponry etc  that have to be removed just before the plane takes off for combat.

I really liked the way that it looked like a snake waiting to strike. The top part of the ribbon – the chain – was lost in the deep shadow of the wing whilst the ribbon itself was illuminated in a shaft of light. the shadow of the ribbon I think is really excellent and adds to the feeling of depth.

I used my Fujifim X-T1 with the XF 18-135mm, f/3.5 – 5.6 LM OIS WR. Taken at 6400 ISO, 1/200sec at f/5.6.

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It was a visit to the Black Country Living Museum for today’s photo-meet. It really is such a good place to take photographs. You have historic housing, canals, industrial buildings from the late Victorian and early 20th centuries and people dressed in the period costumes wandering around  – currently First World War – and all this on a 26 acre site. There is a pub with sawdust on the floor with great beer, a traditional fish and chip shop and a restaurant that serves Black Country faggots and peas. What’s not to like.

The other good thing is that when you go you automatically get a pass for the museum that last the whole of the year – entry free of charge.

The image below is of the supports for the mining wheel of the Racecourse colliery. It was a glorious day with blue skies and autumn sun. Walking past the supports I looked up and could see the sun behind the tower, silhouetting the thick, wooden support beams of the wheel, I stepped on to the edge of the shadows of the tower on the ground and moved back and forth to the side until I could just see the sun around the edge of the structure. A small aperture set on the camera then ensured that I got the starburst effect.

Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm, 1/250sec, f/16.0

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